Camps Offer Today’s Youth the Most Important First Summer Job: Being a Camp Counselor

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Camps Offer Today’s Youth the Most Important First Summer Job: Being a Camp Counselor


There is no other job that can better prepare today’s youth with the life skills and experiences they will need to be successful in the professional work environment than spending the summer as a camp counselor. 

Last week, President Obama announced the Summer Opportunity Project, encouraging businesses to give American youth the opportunity to get their first summer job and support them through a summer job opportunity.   For generations, summer camps have been providing American young people with their first jobs as camp counselors and giving them hands on job experiences that help them become successful adults in the workplace.    A 2012 Economic Impact Report conducted by Planning Decisions, Inc. on behalf of the American Camp Association found that 7,000 camp programs in the Northeast employ 190,000 people seasonally, with the 16-to-24 age group holding most of the seasonal jobs.

At camp, counselors gain skills that most employers will find valuable when teens and youth look for future employment.  Counselors gain leadership skills by leading a group of children; time management skills while helping children get to activities on time; communication skills and team work through working with camp leadership staff to create the best possible camp program for children; problem solving when the day doesn’t go as planned and the schedule needs to be changed; and responsibility by being in charge of children and having to be there each day for them, among other skills. 

For youth considering an office job or an internship this summer, think again. The skills gained working at camp are invaluable and can’t be learned in any other work environment.   Being a camp counselor is the best preparation for a successful future in the workforce.

To find a summer camp job, please visit the American Camp Association, NY and NJ’s Find a Camp Job at       


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